Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Luxury on the Orient Express: The ultimate train experience

It may not be the longest train journey in the world, a record currently held by the 9,288.2 km (5,787 miles) Trans-Siberian Railway.

Nor is it the most strikingly scenic: The Glacier Express in Switzerland, and Vietnam's Reunification Express both offer views of mountains and jungle respectively -- that make most other train routes look positively mundane.

Nor is it even the world's most exclusive rail experience with a maximum of 22 passengers per trip, touring France in the ├╝ber-chic Palladium probably deserves that title.

For sheer luxury, character, panache and historical resonance, however, no train journey on earth can quite match a trip aboard the legendary Orient Express, a locomotive that justifiably bears the nickname "King of Trains."

"It is quite simply the ultimate luxury train experience," says UK rail expert Mark Smith.

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